Consumer Behavior – Understanding Your Buyer to Drive Growth and Profitability


Course Description


We are all consumers. We have been for many years. We are also complex — and our fickle nature makes it very difficult for marketers to predict our buying patterns, over time. The psyche of the consumer needs to be carefully considered. Marketing, which is largely based on understanding consumer behavior, is responsible for generating demand for products. If as marketers we don’t do our job of building consumers’ desire to purchase our products, then our products will not succeed in the market. We must build a loyal and passionate customer base who demands our products and services.

In this course, we will study and discuss the importance of understanding the psyche of the consumer and what affects purchase behavior. We will examine the intricacies associated with successful marketing, while gaining a detailed understanding of what marketers must consider in the way of consumer psychology/behavior when attempting to generate demand for a product. Via exciting case debates and case role plays, this engaging course curriculum will provide you with a detailed understanding of the challenges associated with making decisions using actionable insights from the world of consumer psychology.


What you’ll learn:


  • How marketers can take advantage of consumer psychology in positioning products and services
  • Current buyer behavioral trends that are changing the way marketers generate demand
  • The risks associated with developing markets and how to mitigate them
  • How to target key influencers and activate them in your marketing strategy
  • The importance of segmentation and targeting in understanding consumer psychology
  • Craft a value proposition to grow profits through innovation
  • How to capitalize on the millennial customer and on the mobile customer


Who should attend?


This course has been designed for anyone asked to lead strategic marketing efforts, understand customer behavior in making buying decisions, and grow market share and profitability. Marketing directors, product managers, entrepreneurs, business owners, and other professionals across a range of industries can benefit from the new skills and approaches gained through this program.


Course Outline


Day 1:
Consumer Psychology and Course Overview

  • Understand the many facets of consumer behavior
  • Understand why marketers segment consumers
  • Understand the marketing concept and what is at marketing’s core

The Consumer Psyche

  • Understand how the head and the heart strongly affect consumer purchase
  • Understand how influencers affect whether your products are purchased and understand how you can utilize influencers
  • Understand how influencers affect your promotion strategy
  • Understand how millennials differ from previous generations in the way of purchase behavior


  • Explain how product design affects consumer adoption
  • Describe how colors influence a consumer’ mood
  • Describe how the opportunity for consumers to touch products increases purchase likelihood
  • Understand the importance of perceptual maps in positioning strategy

Learning and Memory

  • Explain how classical conditioning can lead to brand loyalty
  • Discuss how marketers balance effectively repeating advertisements while avoiding overexposure
  • Discuss the effect of consumer motivation on product evaluation
  • Describe how nostalgia plays a role in consumer preferences


Day 2:
Motivation and Emotion

  • Explain how motivational conflict affects consumer choice
  • Explain the overjustification effect and its effect on consumer motivation
  • Explain how the evoking of specific emotions affects consumer decisions
  • Describe how the method in which we pay affects purchase

The Role of Personality in Consumer Behavior

  • Explain the effect of frugality on consumer behavior
  • Describe how spendthrifts and tightwads differ
  • Describe how various personality traits affect consumer purchase
  • Describe the “personalities” of some of your favorite brands
  • Describe brand arrogance and the role that it can play on consumer purchase


  • Understand how to predict consumer behavior well
  • Explain how marketers construct persuasive messages
  • Understand how various appeals in communication (e.g., humor, fear, and sex) affect consumer purchase
  • Identify the key characteristics a spokesperson must have to be persuasive and understand how these characteristics differ as a function of consumer involvement

Consumer Decision Making

  • Explain how providing too many choices for consumers can be detrimental for decision making
  • Describe how nudging affects consumer purchase
  • Explain how counterfactual thinking affects consumer decisions
  • Identify the heuristics used by consumers to make decisions
  • Discuss how priming can affect consumer decisions
  • Explain the effect that framing plays on consumer behavior

Program Faculty


Dr. Kenny Herbst

Dr. Kenny Herbst is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Sisel Faculty Fellow in the School of Business at Wake Forest University. He has a Masters and Ph.D. from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. from Wake Forest University. In 2016, he won the Kienzle Alumni Teaching Award (given for outstanding contribution to the education and personal development of our MBA/MA alumni who graduated at least three years ago). He also recently has won the MA Educator of the Year Award (in 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2018).

Dr. Herbst’s expertise includes obesity and unhealthy food consumption, branding and trust effects in advertising, affect and cognition in consumer decision making, food marketing, point of purchase, and supermarket retailing and merchandising practices.


Program Dates


October 10-11, 2018

Classes begin promptly at 8:30 each morning and will wrap-up no later than 5:00.


Meeting Location


Wake Forest University Charlotte Center
200 N. College Street, Suite 150
Charlotte, NC 28202

Parking is available in the Wake Forest Charlotte Center parking deck, which is adjacent to the Wake Forest Charlotte Center on 5th Street.
Wake Forest University Charlotte Center – Map, directions & parking




The cost of the program is $1,950 and includes materials, continental breakfast and lunch both days, and is due in full at time of registration. Wake Forest University alumni, faculty, and staff receive a 10% tuition discount. Please contact Holly Stearne,, for more details.


Program Materials


Course materials are included in the cost of tuition. Course materials will be distributed electronically in advance of the program start date. Participants must have a laptop or tablet computer to access course materials.


Registration and Payment Form


This is an open enrollment program. Application is not required. Course registration is complete when payment is processed. Upon registration, a representative of Wake Forest will contact you to validate the registration information and to assist in fee payment. Please click the link below to begin the registration process.


Register Now
Registration deadline is October 1, 2018.



Cancellation of Program


This course is offered contingent upon sufficient enrollment. If a course must be cancelled, all registered participants will be notified at least five (5) calendar days before the course’s start date. All registered participants will receive a 100% tuition refund. No fees will be charged for cancelled courses.


Refund Policy


Prospective participants who withdraw at least 5 days prior to the start of a course will receive a full refund of tuition paid.


For More Information


For more information or to speak with a program adviser, please send an email to Holly Stearne, or call 336-758-4258.